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Hiring a Medical Office Assistant

Medical office assistant working online.

A medical office can’t run properly without the right combination of motivated and talented staff members. Previously, we’ve highlighted medical office managers and how best to organize an office space with great filing and calling protocols, but we haven’t really discussed the staff members responsible for some of these tasks.

A medical office assistant is an employee who supports physician’s assistants, nurses, and doctors themselves provide care to patients in need. They are the go-between position that helps connect medical and non-medical personnel in a medical office, coordinating and keeping the communication and care processes smooth in whatever way those above them request.

Education:

A medical office assistant may be licensed or unlicensed, depending on the needs of the medical office. Programs to acquire a license can be completed online or in technical institutions. It’s best to look for a medical office assistant with a two year degree or certificate. A medical office may also choose to sponsor someone currently seeking a license, thus securing him or her for future employment once graduated. It is a less expensive hire and also serves as positive experience for the trainee.

Training:

Make sure your office manager trains new employees on your medical office’s software. Once fully trained, it will ensure that they are comfortable and proficient using it.

Duties:

Part of the medical office assistant job is administrative. Medical office assistants may answer phones, make copies, send faxes, greet patients, schedule appointments, and do some light bookkeeping. A majority of the clerical work for a medical office assistant revolves around medical billing software.

In addition, the medical office assistant often prepares patients to see the doctor by taking blood pressure and calculating heart rates.

In place or in addition to hiring a medical office assistant, an office may choose to outsource some of the work, particularly the work on the administrative side. Transferring and organizing patient information as well as navigating the medical billing software can be a trying task and require a lot of patience to teach, learn, and accomplish. Billing Advantage can take a load off of staff shoulders, including the medical office assistant. Thus, staff are freed up to spend more quality time with patients doing what they truly love – helping people.


Donna Whipple Donna Whipple

Donna Whipple, Psy.D. is a clinical psychologist with over 30 years of management experience. She has particular interest and expertise in HIPAA and ethical treatment and business practices in a changing high tech industry. She has a particular talent in boiling down complex regulations so providers can understand and comply with them. As co-owner of Billing Advantage Inc., Donna is involved in all aspects of the company but her particular contributions to the business is in mentoring upper level managers and helping them be more effective in their leadership.


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